The result of a blogging accident

Mapping Steam

I’ve been playing around for a little while with the idea of mapping the Steam Community social network. A couple of days, I decided I’d dig up the old code and get it going again. I ported some old code I wrote in C# for the purpose to Python using the Django framework (mainly to make database access easier). I then wrote a script that would go through Steam, starting with myself, find all the person’s friends who were in Adelaide, then work out from there.

In the end, there are 2,195 people on Steam in Adelaide, who are friends with other people in Adelaide, who are somehow connected to me. There are a total of 4,814 friendships linking these people together, and I excluded a total of 32,561 people who didn’t write in their profile that they were from Adelaide (so, for example, if you only said you were in South Australia, or didn’t put in a location at all, you’d be excluded), but were friends with someone who was. Considering that there’s only two or three of degrees of separation in the geek/gamer community in Adelaide, I’m reasonably certain I got everyone on the main “island”. Of course, there’s going to be some people that will be cut off for whatever reason (such as one of their friends blocking the route to them because their friend isn’t listed as being in Adelaide), but 2,195 people sounds about correct.

I’m also not counting relationships through groups. Groups take more code to make it work.

Now that I have this data, I can also tell you who the most popular people are in Adelaide on Steam. These are the people with the most amount of friends in Adelaide, based on what they wrote in their profile:

I’m playing around with different graphs in graphviz to generate a more graphical representation of this data. Unfortunately for me, it seems to take a lot of CPU power to generate these things. Here are a couple I’ve made up so far:

twopi, overlap=true: Warning: The full-size image that is linked to is a 2636x2678 pixels PNG (7.7MB).


fdp: Warning The one-third size image that is linked to is a 5064x10138 pixels PNG (24.1MB), and may crash your browser.


I’m going to keep playing with these graphs though, hopefully I can make something really pretty.

Once I’ve done that, maybe it’s time to map all of Australia as well? But I think I’ll need to offload the script somewhere else to do that... :)